The Awe Of The Rose Garden
Portland has had a long-standing reputation of having some of the loudest fans in the NBA. For almost 35 years, the Portland Trail Blazers were the only professional sports franchise in town, and the Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Garden Arena were and still are perfect outlets to release the passion of local sports fans.
Even though the team has not witnessed prominent success since 2000, the Rose Garden Arena still remains one of the best places to watch an NBA game, even before the game starts.
“And you’re the 6th man, and the Rose Garden is OUR HOUSE! So everybody onnnnn your feet, and lets make it loud, ‘Cause here comes YOUR HOME TEAM!!!!” [Scoreboard graphics light up] “Fans…Are you reaaady….For your Portlaaaaaaaannd Traiiiiil Blazers!” – Mark Mason
Starting in the 1996-97 season, Mason is one of the bedrocks of the Rose Garden experience. In arenas throughout professional sports, teams are looking for ways to enhance the “in-game” experience.
Some arenas such as the Palace at Auburn Hills feature public address announcers that sound more like MC’s than traditional announcers as they beat box their way through starting line-ups, the announcement of referee calls, and upcoming events.
The flow feels like rock road. On the other hand, Mason’s voice is as smooth as caramel.
His uniqueness can be found in the international flavor within Portland’s line-ups as he introduces each player in their native language.
Whether it was former Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis or French forward Nicolas Batum, the rhythm and clarity is unmatched anywhere in the NBA.
Taco Bell Chalupas at 100 Points
Me gusta comer. Blazers fans do as well.
Getting to the century mark seemed to be a rarity at times under former coach Nate McMillan, but when his Trail Blazers did, the crowd erupted.
If the Blazers hire a run-and-gun coach, all Blazers fans will be eating well, as Taco Bell awards every fan with a coupon for a free chalupa when the Blazers score 100, regardless of the outcome of the game.
It provides incentives for fans to attend theoretical blowouts such as Golden State, Charlotte, and Toronto. The chants of ‘cha-lu-pa’ start around the 96-point mark and do not stop until the milestone is reached.
If you think starting lineups are loud at the Rose Garden, wait around for the end of the game.
Environmentally Friendly Vibe
The arena shares many of the same environmental values that its city does.
It starts with providing fans the ability to help the environment rebound from the meal madness on Blazers nights. Recycling and composting depositories that line all three concourses of the arena provide fans opportunities for fans to dispose of beer and frozen yogurt cups alike.
Whether or not the Blazers win, the environment is guaranteed one at the arena.
Another reason to love the arena is that fans pack the arena from tip-off to the very end in a Blazers victory.
While many would agree that Portland is the antithesis of the Los Angeles’ and Miamis of the world for fashion, it is also that way for being fashionably late. Fans come to game on time and are not afraid to exhibit passion through voice, face paint, and signs from the tip.
Quirky characters such as “Free-Throw Guy”, a season ticket-holder that sits roughly five rows behind a basket, try to distract shooters.
“Dancing Lady,” a long-time season ticket-holder, usually dresses in traditional African apparel and receives cheers at every game. Mascot “Blaze the Trail Cat” is the foam-faced house pet that just will not leave the venue.
All of them are family members that you rejoice in seeing at every game. They make the Rose Garden Arena a destination throughout the winter and spring, easily worth the price of admission.
There are enough numbers in the Rose Garden Arena to make a mathmetician blow his mind.
The arena is perfect for stat geeks as almost every basic statistical category is covered on unique stat boards throughout the arena.
Whether or not you are watching the actual game, if you look all across the arena an educated guess can be made as to who is leading and for what reason. Fans are generally more educated during the game as a result, making for interesting conversations throughout the arena.
As a result, the overall experience is enhanced.